Monday, February 11, 2013

The Final Countdown

My final week if Sofia went by quickly.  Most of my free time was devoted to my writing projects, and I made good progress.  I put in a lot of long days, with only a few breaks in the routine.  The first was last Monday evening when I attended a lecture on Alexander Stamboliiski by my friend Eric, a Fulbight researcher.  The topic was interesting, and I met some new people afterward. 

My other was to take a few hours to have a drink with three members of the Sofia legal community who were particularly welcoming and helpful – Judge Dechev, Judge Georgiev, and Prof. Marinova.  We had a lovely chat and I look forward to keeping in touch with each of them.  I am already trying to think of ways to arrange a visit to Iowa for them.

On Thursday afternoon, things changed abruptly.  I reached a significant goal I’d set for my writing, and about two hours later my new flatmate Grace arrived in Sofia.  I went from the fairly predictable routine I’d maintained for the better part of three weeks to the realization that I would be leaving within days.  I was able to do a bit of cleaning and organizing in the short time before welcoming Grace, a Fulbright scholar from Arizona is teaching at Sofia University this spring and will take my apartment.  That evening Grace and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and had a nice dinner at 33 Stola, the Italian restaurant near the apartment.

Friday morning we had a meeting to get the lease transfer sorted, and then paid a visit (my last) to our favorite café.   In the evening we hosted our neighbors and a few of my friends for a farewell/welcome gathering.  A very good time was had by all, and it was nice to share a last bit of time with some of the people who have made Sofia such a memorable place.

Saturday was spent packing, interspersed with a trip to the university, brief visits with some neighbors, and dinner at Troika.  Things were fairly well organized, and I found myself strangely organized on Sunday morning for my departure.  Just before noon I took a taxi to Sofia Airport to begin the journey home.

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